Happy Valentine's Day! This seasonal printed panel is one that has lurked in my sewing room for a couple of years. So I decided to practice my free-motion machine quilting on it and make a special occasion wallhanging. I find that these kinds of projects are no-pressure ones for me. They are inexpensive enough that I'm willing to experiment on them, and small enough to not require a big time investment. So I covered the panel with meandering hearts, outline quilting, and even tried my hand at writing words with free-motion. I experimented with different threads to learn more about tension, and tried out a fully machine-applied binding. It was a challenge to catch the corners in the stitching, and I had to add a few hand stitches to secure them. But overall, it was a fun little project. And the panel has several cousins waiting in the closet for their turn at completion... not all Valentine's Day, but just colorful panels I could not resist!
And speaking of lettering, I've been trying my hand at free-pieced letters. I've seen the "Word Play" book, and there are various tutorials online for improvisational pieced letters. But in the end, I found the puzzle-like approach to inventing the piecing for each letter to be really intriguing and enjoyable. I used a variety of strip sizes from about 1" to 2" cut width, and wider ones for the fill pieces as needed. It occurred to me that "puttering around" in the sewing room and doing things like this is really satisfying for me. This may explain the numerous unfinished projects, stray blocks and quilt parts that occupy space here. I think Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran call this kind of thing "The Parts Department" in their book "Collaborative Quilting." I've got lots of parts! These letters will eventually get sized so they work well together and have an eventual home.